USC in the buzz at Passing Down 7on7

Ground Zero took home the Passing Down Best of the West Championship on Sunday. Here's a few recruiting notes we picked up during the event.

The big news of the day was the commitment by Elk Grove (Calif.) Cosumnes Oaks wide out L.J. Reed to UCLA Saturday night. Reed attended the Bruins Spring Game and committed shortly before kickoff.

"I've been high on UCLA for awhile," Reed said. "On my way up this weekend, I told myself if I feel comfortable and it feels right, I'll go ahead and commit. I got to UCLA early Saturday and had a chance to walk around the campus and visit with the coaches.

"Then I headed over to Home Depot Center and was with the players and coaches before the game. I sat in on some of the meetings and everything just felt perfect to me. I'm very comfortable there and the coaches really want me and that was big for me.

"Right before the game, I told the coaches I wanted to talk with them. The whole staff was together, Coach Mora, Angus McClure and Coach Yarber, my main recruiters, plus the rest of the guys. I told them right then I was ready to be a Bruin and committed and feel great about it."

Reed is a big kid and looked all of the 6-3, 215 pounds he said he was. He's still appears to be filling out some and said the doctor told him on a recent visit that he's supposed to be 6-6 before he's done.

He looked a bit rusty and out of his element at times during the tournament, which wasn't surprising as this was the first football event Reed had participated in all spring. He starred on the schools basketball team that played in to late March before losing in the Northern CA Div II finals.

"I'm still playing basketball, my AAU team is actually in Las Vegas right now but I wanted to come out here and do this event," Reed said on Sunday. "I'm a little rusty but I feel good. I'm just trying to work hard and get back in to football shape."

Reed said his commitment is solid, although he added he could still take a few official visits.

"I might do that but I'm not sure," Reed said. "I know I'm going to visit UCLA and that's the only school I'm even thinking about right now. It feels great to get this decision out of the way so I can just focus on my academics right now. I've been putting in a lot of work and I'll be doing summer school as well.

"The process wasn't too stressful for me, but it still feels like I got a weight off my back when I did commit. Just to know where I'll be the next four years of my life is huge. I love the staff at UCLA and they made me feel like I was already part of the team. I already have friends on the team, a couple of former teammates, Alex Van Dyke and Marcus Rios so it was just the best overall fit for me."

More Recruiting Notes:

*Although many feel the battle for Granite Bay (Calif.) linebacker Cameron Smith will come down to the two L.A schools, the athlete said two other schools are recruiting him the hardest.

"Wisconsin and Alabama are recruiting me harder than anyone," Smith said. "Wisconsin has already offered and Alabama is pretty close. I talked with Bama last week and they all but offered but said I just need to talk to Coach Saban first to make it official.

"USC and UCLA are still recruiting me hard but not as hard as the other two schools and I'm going to try and visit both this summer."

"Wisconsin and Bama are two of the only schools along with USC actually telling me my weight is good and I don't need to drop a bunch of pounds. USC and UCLA are still recruiting me hard but not as hard as the other two schools and I'm going to try and visit both this summer."

*Washington State has already landed one player from Upland (Calif.) in quarterback Tyler Hilinski and could be the team to beat for another.

"I like Washington State a lot and I could see myself committing there," DB Kameron Powell said. "They were one of the first schools to offer me and continue to recruit me hard. I like the coaches a lot and I think I would fit in there. It would be cool to play with Tyler as well but I'm going to go through the process a little more and see how everything plays out."

Powell has missed much of the spring with a lower leg injury but said he's getting close to 100% and will be able to participate in a few summer camps in June."

* La Puente (Calif.) Bishop Amat two-way player Tyler Vaughns is in the running for top receiver out west in the 2016 class. He has had a great spring and one of the local schools is doing very well with him.

"I have offers from USC and Colorado State right now and USC is my top school right now," Vaughns said. "I grew up watching Reggie Bush and I really liked watching guys like Robert Woods and Marqise Lee.

"When USC offered, I thought about committing but it's too soon and I want to wait things out."

"When USC offered, I thought about committing but it's too soon and I want to wait things out. At the end of my junior season, I'll re-evaluate where things are at and decide if I should make a decision or go through the process more."

*Another player right there with Vaughns in the running for top receiver in the West Coast 2016 class is La Canada (Calif.) St. Francis' Dylan Crawford. The athlete has come along way in a short time after an early offer from Hawaii.

"Hawaii was first and then I picked up USC, Arizona State, Tennessee and Miami," Crawford said. "I went to the USC spring game and that was a great time and I'm going to try and camp with Tennessee and Miami this summer to check them out.

"I'll camp with USC too and I've already been there four of five times. They're recruiting me harder than anyone but I'm staying open to all schools. I'm just looking for that special feeling you're supposed to get about a school and when I find it, I won't drag things out, I'll go ahead and commit right then."

*It's always hard to believe Upland (Calif.) 2017 athlete Nathan Tilford is just a freshman. At 6-2, 205 pounds, he's already physically developed and has looked good this spring playing safety, running back and receiver. The athlete attended spring games at USC and UCLA the last two weeks and compared each school.

"I had a great time at both," Tilford said. "USC had great energy and really got after it in the pre-game. I was watching the running backs and linebackers and I was impressed with the talent and the coaching staff. I felt very comfortable there and it was a great time.

"UCLA was similar, great energy and the players really getting after it. I didn't get to talk to the coaches at either school, I was just there to watch the game and I enjoyed it. I think both schools have a lot of of talent and I'm looking forward to watching them in the pads this season, both should have a great season."

*Another player who attended both Spring Games was Rialto (Calif.) Carter 2016 linebacker Lokeni Toailoa. The rising junior has a chance to be one of the nation's top inside backers in two years.

"The USC game was high intensity, the players and coaches were really in to it."

"The USC game was high intensity, the players and coaches were really in to it," Toailoa said. "The players did the gauntlet, a hitting drill before the game and that got everyone hyped. That was my first time meeting Coach Sark and he's a great guy. It was a great environment and I had a great time.

"UCLA was awesome too. Coach Ulbrich was so hyped up, he actually chest bumped me and almost knocked the wind out of me. The coaches were treating it like a real game and the team is very talented and looked great. I can't say one was bettere than the other, both looked good and should have big seasons."

Toailoa said Texas and Texas A&M should be by to see him this week and Auburn is showing new interest as well.

*A NorCal quarterback in the class of 2016 who has impressed at multiple events this spring is Danville (Calif.) San Ramon Valley's Kevin Davidson. The big 6-4 signal caller has taken visits already to California, USC and UCLA and will be an active camper this summer.

"Cal was great, I sat down with Coach Franklin, the OC and learned a lot about the offense," Davidson said. "They told me they were taking things slow and haven't offered a 2016 QB yet. They want to see how guys develop but plan on coming out to see me throw in the spring.

"On Saturday, I visited USC and UCLA. I was at USC in the morning and met Coach Helton. He took me around the campus and I was blown away by the facilities. Everything was state of the art and brand new. They plan on coming out to see me throw as well.

"I went to UCLA to see the campus first, sat in some meetings, met some of the players and then headed over to Home Depot Center to watch the Spring Game. It was a great environment and close to a packed house so that made it fun. I was impressed with the team and really enjoyed both trips to Los Angeles."

Davidson said he'll camp with Cal, Stanford, Colorado, USC and UCLA and is going to try and make it out to Georgia as well.

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